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British Virgin Islands: Position in relation to Russian sanctions

10 Mar 2022

On 28 February 2022, the Governor of the BVI issued a statement on Russia’s attack on Ukraine. The Governor said, “standing united in condemning the Russian Government’s reprehensible actions, which are a fundamental violation of international law and the UN Charter”. Furthermore, it is stated that the sanctions imposed by the United Kingdom will also be applied in the BVI.

The UK has issued a series of sanctions that are already in force. A note on this can be found on our recent blog posts here and here.

The various UK sanctions will have direct territorial application to the BVI, as the BVI is a British Overseas Territory of the UK, and the UK sanctions are extended to the BVI through Orders-In-Council.

Additionally, the UK House of Commons Library in the publication of its paper “The UK's Overseas Territories and sanctions against Russia” (4 March 2022) stressed the importance of sanctions compliance in the UK Overseas Territories to the UK more broadly. See further here.

Stakeholders (both entities and individuals) conducting business, especially within the financial services sector, in the BVI will need to be mindful of the application of these sanctions to their business operations. Firms are reminded that they would need to appoint local BVI counsel to advise on any aspects of the Russian sanctions legislation as extended and applicable to the BVI.

Governor’s statement can be found here.